Hyper-Specific City Guide: How to Entertain Your Sober, ‘Drag Race’-Loving Gen Z Skinfluencer Nephew in Vancouver

Your nephew's coming to town and he's got some hyper-specific interests: skincare, drag and zero-proof cocktails. No problem.

This is part of our Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide, featured in the May 2024 issue of Vancouver magazine. We’ve created 25 unique personas and 25 unique itineraries to match. If this to-do list for a ‘sober Gen Z skinfluencer’ isn’t helpful, perhaps one of the other 24 bespoke schedules will be. Explore them all here. 


11:00 a.m.: Backstage Pass

The Orpheum is the glam-est of our civic theatres—and handily wins prettiest in North America (category is: opulence!). It’s the go-to venue for the VSO (and the Canada’s Drag Race tour, natch), but even if nephew isn’t a classical music fan, the behind-the-scenes tours are worth it to catch a glimpse of this jaw-droppingly gorgeous venue. For $10, he’ll get the dish on that time Frank Sinatra was almost kicked out (and maybe spy a death drop or two on stage). 601 Smithe St., vancouvercivictheatres.com

an opulent but empty theatre

1:15 p.m.: Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

Get him ready to lip sync for his life with a drop-in class at Harbour Dance Centre. The studio offers over 100 classes a week—and it’s been on the Granville strip since 1989!—with its beginners Keep It Sexy class ($19) made for the catwalk: strut and shake it to pop music in this heels-optional class (glitter is also optional… but why wouldn’t you?). 301–927 Granville St., harbourdance.com

4:00 p.m.: Get Your Glow On

Keeping that skinfluencer status strong is work, baby, so some serious spa time is in order this weekend. Go for the splurge: the Sense Revival (from $505) at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s Sense Spa combines their most popular treatments, including a full-body massage that transitions into a double-cleansing facial (and back again, as the enzymatic face mask does its work). After a spa lunch (lobster cobb, please), he’ll get his soakless pedi while reclining in a zero-gravity chair. 801 W Georgia St., rosewoodhotels.com

a luxurious swimming pool

9:00 p.m.: What a Drag

Founders Paige Frewer and Ryn Broz created The Birdhouse out of the ashes of Eastside Studios, when the latter was lost to development and disrepair. The intersectional queer venue hosts everything from country hoedowns and drag brunches to karaoke and dance parties, with many events focusing on drag and gender performance. Grab tickets (from $11) to whatever’s on tonight—fingers crossed it’s hosted by pre-eminent drag performer Continental Breakfast, our Vanmag cover star back in September and a 2023 Power 50 lister. 44 W 4th Ave., @eastsidestudios

Four people strike dramatic poses in dramatic drag looks outside the colourful city centre motel
Photo: Evaan Kheraj


11:00 a.m.: Power Brunch

After a late night at The Birdhouse, you deserve a lie-in, so roll into Maxine’s (an ode-to-Paris of a bistro) at the respectable hour of 11 a.m. Is there a more beautiful thing than a giant Dutch baby ($23)—the light-as-air pancake-like brunch dish, no shade on babies from Holland—topped with a fried egg, shaved ham and mornay sauce? On a Sunday morning, it’s perfection on a plate. 1325 Burrard St., maxinescafebar.com

a hand is pouring cream onto a fluffy 'dutch baby' style pancake in a skillet

1:00 p.m.: Nailed It

You’ve got options. Yes, the obvious choice is to do a counter-clockwise loop of Stanley Park on a rental bike (English Bay Bike Rentals is just down the street). But would either of you be mad if you went for a manicure instead? Sophie’s Nails and Waxing on Davie Street is precision-oriented, so a gel mani ($38) is guaranteed to look great on his next TikTok. 1688 Davie St., 604-428-0991

3:00 p.m.: Mocktail Magic

In the summer, Cactus Club English Bay’s patio is the spot to show off his SPF 50 alabaster glow (and take in the tourists bringing hacky sack back on the sand). Pregame for a night out over a deep mocktail menu (go for the No-groni, $11, perfectly balanced with Seedlip Garden, Martini Vibrante non-alcoholic red vermouth and Giffard bitters) with a side of the plant-based Zen roll (yuzu tamari, avocado, mango, $17). Sunset gaze and take bets on which cuddling-on-an-English-Bay-log couples are destined to chantay or sashay away. 1760 Beach Ave., cactusclubcafe.com

7:00 p.m.: Living Legends

Respect your herstory: Jaylene Tyme’s Legends Cabaret at the Junction is one of the longest-running all-ages drag shows in Vancouver (tickets $14). Jaylene herself has a beloved following—her Cher is as legendary as the title of her show—and she brings in both rising stars and fellow stalwarts in the local drag scene. 1138 Davie St., junctionpub.com

More from the Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide here.